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Electrochemical nitrogen reduction reaction (NRR) is considered as an alternative to the industrial Haber-Bosch process for NH3 production due to both low energy consumption and environment friendliness. However, the major problem of electrochemical NRR is the unsatisfied efficiency and selectivity of electrocatalyst. As one group of the cheapest and most abundant transition metals, iron-group (Fe, Co, Ni and Cu) electrocatalysts show promising potential on cost and performance advantages as ideal substitute for traditional noble-metal catalysts. In this minireview, we summarize recent advances of iron-group-based materials (including their oxides, hydroxides, nitrides, sulfides and phosphides, etc.) as non-noble metal electrocatalysts towards ambient N2-to-NH3 conversion in aqueous media. Strategies to boost NRR performances and perspectives for future developments are discussed to provide guidance for the field of NRR studies.

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Publication history

Received: 29 June 2020
Revised: 02 August 2020
Accepted: 10 August 2020
Published: 01 March 2021
Issue date: March 2021

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© Tsinghua University Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature

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Reprints and Permission requests may be sought directly from editorial office.
Email: nanores@tup.tsinghua.edu.cn

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